#Not Your Princess: Voices of Native American Women by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale (Eds.), Illustrated by Indigenous Artists. Annick Press, 2017. Ages 14 & up.
What’s this book about? With blistering prose, poetry, and illustrations, these Native women lay bare physical, mental, and sexual abuse (“I Don’t Want To Be Afraid,” Imajyn Cardinal [Cree/Dene]), lost and found identity (“Stereotype This,” Melanie Fey [Diné]), social marginalization (“Reclaiming Indigenous Women’s Rights,” Nahanni Fontaine [Anishinaabe]), resilience and survival (“Defender of Mother Earth,” AnnaLee Rain Yellowhammer [Hunkpapa/Standing Rock Sioux]), pride and achievement (“More Than Meets the Eye,” Kelly Edzerza-Bapty [Tahitan] and Claire Anderson [Tlingit]), and political activism (“We Are Not a Costume,” Jessica Deer [Mohawk]). There are also pieces that celebrate the richness and sustainability of Native heritage and honor spiritual, social, and personal advocacy, resistance, and rebellion. Indigenous Native American women of power, endurance, and hope populate these pages. Rejoice!
Why is this a good book? Stop. Look. Listen. Here we have an informative, inspiring, gut-wrenching, and provocative collection by more than thirty writers and artists who explore the experiences of contemporary Indigenous women throughout North America.
The book is the winner of a 2018 American Indian Library Association’s Youth Literature Award and many other honors.
Next read: Pair this collection with Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale, Annick Press, 2016. Ages 12 & up.